Writer: Cullen Bunn / Artist: Andrea Boccardo / Marvel Comics
After a pretty pedestrian first issue, Civil War II: X-Men #2 picks up a little by throwing some interesting elements into the mix, even if they still follow a pretty conventional path. Having drawn to their respective corners, both Magneto and Storm are plotting about what next move to make. Magneto is concerned about the Inhuman he thinks will be weaponized against the mutants and Storm is concerned about Magneto and his potential to start a war between the groups. The sides get a little more muddied as mutants start to switch sides that align with their personal ideology more than the team they are presently on, starting with Nightcrawler defecting to Magneto’s side in the previous issue.
What works is the reconnaissance mission that takes place at New Attilan on behalf of Magneto and the counter-intelligence effort by Storm. It introduces two more mutants into the fray and makes the book far more interesting than the introduction while also giving us some action that isn’t throw away or just background. There aren’t any grand resolutions or surprising cliffhangers by the end, but it seems to put the conflict squarely between the rival X-Men groups for the remaining two issues.
The art is a mixed bag as was the case in the first issue. Some sequences look good; the portrayal of Magneto, the action sequences in New Attilan for example. But for most of the issue, they don’t seem to inspire much or stand out anywhere else. Even though the book was a slight improvement over issue #1 as far as interest level, it really needs to the help of the art to stay intriguing and that just doesn’t happen.
The chess pieces get moved a little bit in issue #2 to make the conflict a little more interesting, but in a four issue arc, it’s hard not to wonder if it’s still moving a bit too slow. The teams seem to be drawn as far as who is on who’s side, all that’s left now is the fight we know is coming.